Melbye, Fritz (1826-1869)

Artist Description

Elsinore, 24-08-1826-Shanghai, 14-12-1869, painter

Work Locations: China, Denmark, Paris


A pupil of his brother Anton Melbye.

Travel and stay abroad:

The West Indies, St. Thomas 1849, St. Croix 1852; Venezuela 1852-56; Paris 1856-57?; N.Y. 1861-63; China.

Exhibitions (inter alia):

Charl. Spring 1849-58; Pennsylvania Acad. of Fine Arts 1861-63.


Fritz Melbye shared his older brothers Anton and William's Wanderlust. Like them, he spent most of his life abroad, but under even more distant climes. In 1849 he settled on St. Thomas, where he came into contact with the young Camille Pissarro, who was of French lineage, but the birthplace of Danish subjects. According to this was the meeting with Melbye of crucial importance for him, and that seems to have passed a teacher-pupil relationship between them and a close friendship. In april 1852 was Melbye on St. Croix to make preparations to travel to Venezuela. Pissarro decided to travel with him. They stayed together, among other things. in Caracas and the port city of Guaira, Pissarro until the summer of 1855, while M was still in Caracas in 1856. The few søstykker known to man by Melbye, is characterized by his brother Anton Melbye's romantic staging with dramatic lighting effects and mood conducive weather conditions. However, his works, in addition to marinemaleri also includes individual landscapes and buildings, more recording and topographic character. In the years 1861-63 lived Melbye in New York. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the motives gives insight into his whereabouts, North Cape, Newfoundland, Gibraltar, Cuba and Santo Domingo. It was probably after his stay here, he went to China. To the Northwest of Beijing in Ho Yuan, he has designed the Imperial Summer Palace. He died in Shanghai.

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